Wood County Board Meeting – April 2018 Update

by Steven Okonek – The Wood County Board met for their organizational meeting after this spring’s election. The deputy county clerk swore in the 19 supervisors.

The board then proceeded to the election of a chair with Doug Machon defeating Lance Pliml 10-9 (read more about that here).

The new chair then proceeded to take nominations for Vice Chair to replace Ed Wagner, who had retired.

Three people were nominated: Sup. Donna Rozar from Marshfield, Sup. Bill Clendenning from Grand Rapids, and Sup. Brad Hamilton from Nekoosa. The first vote for Vice Chair saw Donna Rozar with 8 votes, Brad Hamilton with 6 votes, and Bill Clendenning with 5 votes, with no person receiving a majority they moved to a second ballot. Sup Clendenning withdrew his nomination, giving support to Sup Hamilton leaving Sup. Rozar and Sup. Hamilton for the second ballot. Sup. Rozar won election as vice chair 10-9.

The next item on the board’s agenda was to elect a new Highway Commissioner. The current Highway Commissioner is retiring on July 5th. Nine individuals applied for the job and a subcommittee of the highway committee interviewed six. The committee suggested Roland Hawk, the current highway department engineer. The board elected Mr. Hawk 18-1 with Sup. Holbrook voting no.

A resolution was presented for additional funding for construction at the River Block building for the building of two new offices and two to three new shared meeting rooms on the 3rd floor of that building at a cost of $106,000 to come from the general fund. The motion passed 18-1 with Sup. Fisher voting no.

A resolution was considered to transfer $41,867 from the county contingency fund to cover HVAC upgrades at the Edgewater Haven Nursing Home. Vice-Chair Rozar asked that the resolution be sent back to the Health and Human Services Committee to be readdressed, as there had been new developments since the last meeting.

Ruben laid out the details of the issues, “The additional asbestos that we found was a surprise. There was a lot of testing during the initial walkthrough. After a ceiling was removed in the hallway, there were questions about whether or not it contained asbestos. Air quality tests had been done and they will know more once the test results come back.”

Several supervisors urged the board to give Edgewater Haven the money and if they need more funds for Asbestos abatement the board can approve more at that time.

The resolution will be sent back to the Health and Human Services committee motion failed 8-11 with Supvisors LaFontaine, Zaleski, Fischer, Winch, Curry, Machon, Pliml and Liechtnam voting yes.

The Resolution passed.

Sup. Clendenning raised an issue about the Conservation, Education, and Economic Development Committee (CEED Committee) banning county staff from assisting Central Sands Groundwater Group. Sup Clendenning moved to reject the decision and send the mater to the Judiciary and License committee. Several supervisors expressed concern about the mater going to a different committee than it came from. After this discussion, Sup. Holbrook moved to amend the motion to send the issue back to the CEED committee. Vote on the motion passed by voice vote. The amended motion passed 17-1 with Sup. Ashbeck voting no.

Sup Liechtnam moved to give ad hoc status to the Central Sands Water Committee the motion failed 6-12

A resolution to give political leave to the new Register of deeds passed 18-0

A resolution to hire a half time legal secretary for the corporation council passed 18-0

A resolution to set a timetable and funding to upgrade security at the courthouse, including a secure entrance to the Branch 1 at a cost of $50,000 this year. Adding Metal Detectors & X-Ray Machines at the Main entrance in 2019 along with other minor security upgrades. And in 2020 securing the maintenance ramp with a crash barrier and adding security glass, doors, and cameras to each department reception area and ballistic material to the judge’s benches at a cost of $340,000. The ongoing cost of these upgrades is estimated at $250,000 per year for two sworn officers to man the main entrance equipment, two part time deputies to fill in when one of the two main officers are not available. The resolution passed 16-2 with Sup. Winch and Fischer voting No.

Resolutions to become eligible for funding for snowmobile and ATV/UTV trail maintenance passed 18-0

The next meeting of the county board is scheduled for May 15th at 9:30 in the Branch III Courtroom at the Wood County Courthouse in Wisconsin Rapids.

News Desk
Author: News Desk